Who is Trevor Carlson? He lives on the North Shore of Oahu and spends a majority of his life in the ocean. He’s always amped to go surf and dive. This past winter, he put in his time at Pipeline and the Outer Reefs always hunting down “The Wave of His Life.”
Now, he’s off to Tahiti, scoring some barrels at Teahupoo and testing out his quiver of Sparrow Surfboards. Trevor will be posting updates to Aloha Update covering the highlights of his trip over the next three months. Here’s his first post where he finds one of the thickest barrels of his life. -Drew
Surfers come to Teahupoo for one reason, to get barreled. And in my last month in Tahiti I’ve gotten to surf some amazing Teahupoo, spearfish some cool reef’s, go kayak fishing, hiking and meet some interesting new people. The surf is world class, the diving and fishing is amazing and the local people are really cool, but I have to say the mosquitoes are ridiculous! When you get to the end of the road and you arrive at Teahupoo there isn’t much but a few small homes, river mouths, lots of mosquito’s and the wave itself which is about a quarter mile paddle from the point on the outside of the reef.
Before I left my home in Hawaii, I was living at Jamie O’Brien’s place at Pipeline with a couple of guys. One of my roommates Adam “Biff” lives at Teahupoo the other half of the year. So when winter ended and the waves were no more on the north shore, I flew to Tahiti and snagged a room at Biffs for 3 months taking a break from my job as a Lifeguard for The City and County of Honolulu.
As I said before there’s really only one reason any Surfer comes to Teahupoo and that’s to get barreled. And after a month of surfing Teahupoo every day I finally found a wave worth writing about. Last Saturday was the biggest I’ve seen Chopes. It was windy and gnarly with 8-10 foot sets (Hawaiian style) and the occasional 12 footer. I broke my brand new 6’ 10’’ about an hour before dark getting stuck on the foam ball then coming up and taking a 10 footer on the head.
Sunday morning I woke before dawn to check the surf and was in the water bright and early. Teahupoo was 6-8 feet and gorgeous with occasional freak sets. After a couple of hours I’d only caught one wave and was feeling under gunned. Looking for a wave to go in and switch my 6’ 0’’ Sparrow “Animal” for my 6’ 10’’ Sparrow step up. I found myself sitting farthest out and over towards the west bowl.
As the set approached, I paddled over the first wave and saw the second one coming. With no one else in position I whipped, around and gave it everything I had. I was committed and I wanted to grab rail to set a more lateral line down the wave but with the wave sucking water off the reef as hard as it was that wasn’t happening. I had to get to the bottom before I could turn up into it.
As I approached the bottom, out of the corner of my eye I saw the lip coming down right on top of my head. I reacted and forced the turn as hard as I could to get under the lip. My board turned sharper than I anticipated and I managed to keep my balance, set a new line and feel the lip just barely kiss the back of my head. I watched the lip land just in front of me. The foam ball crept up from behind and I felt the whole wave explode, spitting its guts out! Blinded by the spit, I could feel the whole wave go inside out. Adrenalin gushed through my veins as I rode safely into the channel. I was definitely ready for a mid day lunch break.
Here’s a video clip: TREVOR CARLSON TEAHUPOO PADDLE IN BOMB!
After cruising in the channel watching the waves for a few minutes, I hopped in a random boat to catch a ride in. After a few minutes of chatting with one of the older Aussies, he asked me if I had some sort of fin theory. Confused, I looked at my board and to my surprise I saw that my front right fin broke off!
Immediately, I thought back to a few waves in that session and knew my board was acting funny, but I hadn’t actually thought enough about it to look at my fins. Now that I’ve seen the video, I realize that if my outside fin were there I might not have made it under the lip in time. So in the end everything worked out, everyone went home and I still have two more months to see what other trouble I can find here in beautiful Teahupoo Tahiti.